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Telewest Broadband's Online Carol
By: MarkJ - 15 December, 2003 (12:28 PM)

Telewest Broadband has once again joined forces with Reverend Alan Bain to webcast the world's first virtual Christmas carol service on 17th December:

Carol service to attract broad band of people

Carol singers from Bath to Brisbane are warming up their vocal chords and home computers in preparation for a unique global carol service this Christmas.

Following an internet sermon that attracted over 500 online worshippers this summer, Telewest Broadband is again joining forces with Reverend Alan Bain to webcast the world's first virtual Christmas carol service.

Taking place at 7.30pm, on Wednesday 17 December, the festive service will be streamed live from St Philip and St James' Church in Bath.

Cable company Telewest Broadband aims to achieve another British technological first by enabling people from around the world to sing along and listen to Christmas readings from the comfort of their own homes, with broadband internet access providing a high quality link to the church.

Reverend Bain, who conducted Britain's first internet sermon as part of his regular Sunday service in August this year, said: "Thanks to Telewest Broadband and their blueyonder internet service, we hope to bring people around the world together this Christmas. We are expecting hundreds to join in the seasonal singing via their PCs."

The service will appeal to those whose loved ones are overseas with the armed forces or have emigrated to distant shores, but is also aimed at elderly, unwell or busy people in the local community who cannot make it to church in person.

By logging onto www.broadbandreligion.co.uk before the event, the public can also vote for their favourite Christmas song, dedicate readings to loved ones or even email the church with prayers to be read out to distant friends and family during the service.

Songs to vote for include:
* Bing Crosby, White Christmas
* Cliff Richard, Mistletoe and Wine
* Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody
* The Darkness, Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)

Chad Raube, director of internet services at Telewest Broadband, added: "For many people, getting together at Christmas can be difficult. Families are pushed for time, live too far apart or are unable to get to church due to age or ill health. This event, our second broadband religion project, shows how high-speed net access is improving our lives in new and unique ways."

As well as traditional carols sung by local childrens' choirs, people around the world can visit the church web site at www.stphilipstjames.org to listen to, and vote for a new Christmas carol, composed by church members. The winning song will be sung for the first time in public at the service.

To participate in the unique event, carollers should visit http://www.broadbandreligion.co.uk at 7.30pm on 17 December. To really enjoy the webcast, a broadband internet connection of at least 512kp/s (kilobits per second) is recommended, but you can still join in with a slow dial-up internet service.

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